Tracking the Senate Confirmation Process for the Evers Administration Cabinet

In a January interview, Senate Majority Leader Devin LeMahieu (R-Oostburg) said that the Senate would work to hold confirmation hearings on department secretaries and other agency heads appointed by Gov. Tony Evers (D). During Gov. Evers’ first term, the Senate chose not to take confirmation votes on about 185 of the governor’s appointments, including many cabinet positions.

Gubernatorial cabinet appointees take office immediately upon being appointed by the governor and are subject to Senate review and confirmation. Typically, a standing committee of the Senate will hold a hearing on a gubernatorial appointment and vote on whether to recommend confirmation. Then, the full Senate will take a confirmation vote.

In the same interview, Sen. LeMahieu also said that “It seems like a couple of the appointments to the [Natural Resources Board] may be a little more political than our caucus might be in favor of.” The Natural Resources Board oversees policy for the Department of Natural Resources (DNR). “People who maybe don’t have the background needed to be on the DNR board,” continued Sen. LeMahieu. “So I think we’ll have to take a very close look at those.”

Below is a list of cabinet secretaries appointed by Gov. Evers that have received a public hearing before a Senate committee:

Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection (Sec. Randy Romanski)
Committee on Agriculture and Tourism
Public hearing held March 15

Department of Natural Resources (Sec. Adam Payne)
Committee on Natural Resources and Energy
Public hearing held March 15

Department of Revenue (Sec. Peter Barca)
Committee on Universities and Revenue
Public hearing held March 7

Department of Tourism (Sec. Anne Sayers)
Committee on Agriculture and Tourism
Public hearing held February 16
Confirmation recommended 9-0 on March 8

Department of Transportation (Sec. Craig Thompson)
Committee on Transportation and Local Government
Public hearing held March 15

Office of the Commissioner of Insurance (Commissioner Nathan Houdek)
Committee on Insurance and Small Business
Public hearing held February 2
Confirmation recommended 5-0 on March 9

Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation (CEO and Sec. Missy Hughes)
Committee on Economic Development and Technical Colleges
Public hearing held March 2
Confirmation recommended 5-0 on March 15